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  KD MAGAZINE!      ב"ה                    
 
 
  PARSHAT CHAYEI SARAH  
 

By Rabbi Yonassan Biggs

PARASHAT HASHAVUA: PARASHAT CHAYEI SARAH, BY RABBY BIGGS - WWW.KOSHERDELIGHT.COM  פרשת חיי שרה

   

 

  

 

 

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

  

  

 

Shalom and Bracha!

  This Shabbat we read the portion of Chayei Sarah and bless the month of Kislev. The portion begins with the passing of Sarah and the purchase of Ma’arat Hamachpelah (The cave of the patriarchs) in Chevron as her burial place. Thereafter the Torah describes the preparation for the marriage between Yitzchak and Rivkah. Rivkah was in Aram Naharayim, and since Hashem forbade Yitzchak to leave Israel, Avraham’s servant Eliezer was chosen to find him a suitable bride. The many miracles that occurred during his mission demonstrated to him that Rivkah was the intended bride and the matriarch of the Jewish people.

  When Eliezer returned to Israel with Rivkah the Torah relates “Yitzchak brought her into the tent of Sarah his mother” and thereafter married her. Rashi explains that the words “the tent of Sarah his mother” teach us that when she came to their home, all of the blessings that had departed when Sarah passed on returned. During Sarah’s life, her Shabbat candles burnt from one Friday until the next. Upon Sarah’s passing, the miracle ceased and with Rivkah’s arrival it returned. During Sarah’s life, there was a blessing in the dough which returned with Rivkah. During Sarah’s life, there was a cloud (representing the Divine Presence) that rested upon the tent. It returned with Rivkah’s arrival. Upon witnessing these miracles, Yitzchak took her as his bride.

These three miracles were more than just a sign that Rivkah was the chosen. They teach us the three criteria for a Jewish home. The Shabbat candles illuminate. Burning throughout the week teaches us that the light from a Mitzvah must continue to shine long after the Mitzvah has been performed. The home must be so permeated with each Mitzvah that even when we have completed the Mitzvah we feel its light and warmth. The lighting of Shabbat candles exemplifies this idea because the holiness of Shabbat must permeate the entire week.

The blessing in the dough came from the Mitzvah of Kashrut and caused that even when one ate a small quantity, he was satiated. This teaches us that we should see all of our possessions as means to an end rather than goals in and of themselves. Whatever Hashem gives us should be use to its utmost potential and that will bring further blessings. It is interesting to note that the Hebrew word evyon (destitute) literally means someone who desires rather than one who lacks. This teaches us that one who feels that he lacks is indeed destitute. This is related to Kashrut, which connects our eating to a higher purpose, and specifically to the Mitzvah of Challah, in which we dedicate the first of the kneaded dough to Hashem.

The cloud on the tent represents the Divine Presence. The presence of Hashem is both a great blessing and a great responsibility. Realizing Hashem’s immediate presence, we must cleanse our homes and our behavior of anything unfit. This is exemplified in the Mitzvah of family purity, the laws of Mikveh.

The name of this portion is very intriguing. Chayei Sarah means the life of Sarah, and she passes on in the second verse! In truth, the name gives us a deeper understanding into who Sarah was and into the true meaning of life. Sarah’s life was her accomplishment in this world. Her whole devotion was to raising Yitzchak to follow in the path of his parents and father the Jewish nation. Yitzchak’s marriage to Rivkah and establishing a home that paralleled his mothers was the true Chayei Sarah, the true life of Sarah.

The Midrash teaches that in the merit of Shabbat candles we shall see the candles of the redemption of Zion. May we witness the coming of Moshiach immediately and see the actual clouds of Hashem’s glory in each of our homes.

Shabbat Shalom,

 Rabbi Biggs

  Rabbi Yonassan Biggs is from Chabad of Great Neck, NY. His website is: http://www.chabadgn.com/
 
 

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